Twin Triumph

Posted on May 08, 2018

Dr Monique Potgieter and Dr Ciara Blaauw are twin sisters who have both graduated with a PhD in Electronic Engineering. They started their undergraduate studies at the University of Pretoria in 2011 and their postgraduate studies (BEng Hons) in 2015.

By this time, they had already presented research papers at international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. The twins are grateful for the support received from the University and their supervisor Prof Johann W Odendaal and co-supervisor Prof Johan Joubert. Monique’s thesis was titled “A study on bistatic RCS simulations, measurements and calibration” and Ciara’s thesis was titled “RCS simulations and measurements of electrically large complex airframes and dielectric structures”. They were inspired by their father and mentors at the University of Pretoria and CSIR to pursue their studies in the field of electronic engineering. They both have a passion for technology and the application thereof.

Dr Potgieter said: “Achieving a PhD is a milestone in my career and something that I will always cherish and be proud of. It is truly amazing to be able to share this accomplishment with Ciara.” She said that when she needed motivation, her sister motivated and encouraged her. “I am very proud of Ciara and this graduation is a ‘double’ win for me. She inspires me to be the best that I can.”

Dr Blaauw returned the praise for her sister and also acknowledged the support she got from her and said: “It is a blessing to have such an amazing and talented sister like Monique. I am very proud of her and it is an honour to share this special day and achievement with her.” Ciara added that obtaining a PhD is a true blessing and both of them give all honour to God.  

Both of them also thanked their husbands, parents, families and complimented UP. They described their lecturers as passionate, inspiring and some of the greatest minds in their fields.

Monique and Ciara are currently working as Radar Signal and Systems Analysts at the DPSS, CSIR. They are excited about what the future holds and are passionate about making positive contributions in the field of engineering.

They are identical twins born just one minute apart. Their parents, Jannie and Anita, and husbands, Zander and Reinhardt, are all graduates from the University of Pretoria. Their parents taught them that through hard work and dedication they can achieve anything they set their minds to.

- Author Myan Subrayan

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